Loudness Discomfort with Sensorineural Hearing Loss


I seem to have fairly significant higher frequency hearing loss. However while having a hearing loss, I seem to be super sensitive to any sudden noise like banging and clanking of pots and pans or cutlery. On one hand I am having some trouble crisply understanding speech on the TV in front of me, and the next minute I am jumping out of my skin in response to a sudden noise in the kitchen a room away. Does our body hearing system have a function similar to a microphone set up to automatically change sensitivity based on how loud the noise being recorded is? What I am thinking is that my body volume control is being cranked up so I can hear speech and then a sudden noise makes the sound so loud it is almost painful. Is this true?

And my second part of the question/concern is what will happen if I am fitted with hearing aids. Is this effect going to get worse? Or better?



Maybe you get used to everything being soft and an actual loud, sharp sound takes you by surprise?

Maybe being aided all the time will make that better?



But, it’s not unusual for a new wearer to feel that clanking sounds are uncomfortable, but your brain adjusts after a few weeks.



I also have high frequency loss, and I am extra sensitive to moderate and loud noises. I got hearing aids three months ago, and I think the aids have improved my sensitively by a modest amount.

And yes, aids do tend to make painful noise worse. For me, it is worth it.



Do these machines have any specific features that can compress the dynamic range of the sound to try and limit this disturbing effect.



Search “recruitment”. There is a good explanation in a post from Dec ‘09.



That and hyperacusis…



After doing a bit of research on this issue, it sounds like the HA feature intended to address this is called Transient Impulse Control? It also appears that Siemens have developed a specific version of it, they call SoundSmoothing, that has been in use for about 10 years. It seems to be a standard feature on the Signia, Rexton, and Kirkland HA’s, and has 3 adjustment steps. I’m thinking his may address my issue?

Siemens SoundSmoothing